Friday, May 22, 2009

Peavy: scared or smart?

By now, everyone's aware of Peavy's decision to stay in the comfy expanses of the wonderful land of San Diego. [I case you are new here, I've spent umpteen hours discussing Peavy and why a trade is not only inevitable, but necessary for the franchise.] There are a few reasonable reasons for this decision that I can consider:

  1. He loves SD too much to leave / His family does not want to leave
  2. He really likes to bat 3-6 times a week
  3. He knows how great a pitcher's park Petco really is
  4. He knows how much of a hitter's park US Cellular Field is, especially for FB pitchers
  5. He's flat out scared about pitching in the AL on a full time basis
Let's scratch the surface on these points, shall we?
  1. He loves SD too much to leave / His family does not want to leave

    Honestly, I couldn't agree with this idea more. Having family out in SD, I can completely and utterly understand a desire to stay out West. The climate is flat-out fantastic, unless you hate 73 degrees and sun every day. Spare me your "oh, I'll miss the seasons" or "isn't that boring?" crap. NO! Perfect weather is NOT boring. You know what sucks: Snow, cold rain in the Fall, sleet, black ice, days straight of rain. You know what doesn't suck? San Diego weather. Because of the weather, kids are outside more and so are adults, biking, playing ball and simply enjoying life. Why? Because they are not shuttered in due to the */+$%$^&* weather!!! Is this clear?

  2. He really likes to bat 3-6 times a week

    I call BS. It's a convenient excuse. You know who else likes to bat? Sabathia and he let it go because the price was right. Holding up a trade from a cellar dwelling team because you want to swing the bat is stupid. Take extra BP, OK?

  3. He knows how great a pitcher's park Petco really is

    I think this is absolutely true. If you need some proof, look here. In 2008, it was the best pitcher's park. THE BEST PITCHERS PARK IN THE MAJORS. Guess what? It was the best pitcher's park in 2007, too! It was the 2nd best in 2006. The BEST in 2005. Third best in 2004. Get the point? It's big and plays big. It supresses HR's and helps fly ball pitchers. Ya know what else? Peavy is a FB pitcher!

  4. He knows how much of a hitter's park US Cellular Field is, especially for FB pitchers

    The converse of Petco is US Cellular. US Cellular's rank over the last few years (the higher the number, the more of hitter's park it is):
    2008: #4
    2007: #9
    2006: #9
    2005: #9
    2004: #3

  5. He's flat out scared about pitching in the AL on a full time basis

    I can kid about Peavy really being scared because that's how it all looks. He looks wimpy as hell for not taking on the challenge, choosing to languish in last place while posting great personal stats. Here's the thing: He's already landed the rich multi-year contract and would likely have his agent demand his big option year be picked up in advance. So what's to worry about? Well, maybe he figures if he pitches a dozen years in sunny SD, raking up delicious stats, he can skate into the HOF....but if he turns into a human BP pitcher, serving up HR's like mad, he won't have a chance.

    I don't really think he's scared because every account of Jake and his personality is one of a bulldog, not a shrinking violet. But he looks scared.
Aaron Gleeman had a nice discussion about Peavy's home/away splits over at Circling The Bases:
Going from Petco Park in the National League to U.S. Cellular Field in the American League is just about the biggest change in environment that a fly-ball pitcher like Peavy could experience, and there's plenty of reason to wonder whether he'd be a dominant, Cy Young-caliber starter for the White Sox.
Like most fly-ball pitchers Peavy is prone to serving up homers, but Petco Park has essentially erased half of his long balls. Knowing that his home ballpark turns so many fly balls into outs rather than homers has also allowed Peavy to pitch more aggressively, totaling 21 percent more strikeouts and 22 percent fewer walks at Petco Park. Add it all up and his ERA has been 2.71 at Petco Park and 3.71 everywhere else.

Now, most pitchers fare better at home, so the full-run difference isn't quite as dramatic as it appears, but the point remains. Peavy has been a much different, far more effective pitcher at Petco Park. And not only would a trade to the White Sox take him away from pitcher-friendly Petco Park, it would put him at hitter-friendly U.S. Cellular Field in a league that features the designated hitter and arguably superior overall competition.

This is spot-on.

Now, if the "real truth" (which we will never know) is that his wife and family don't want to leave and/or have something against Chicago (despite his willingness to be traded to the Cubs during the off-season), I will understand it. And if you listen to Peavy's comments, that's precisely what he's saying:
San Diego is the best place for us, right this second,” Peavy said before tonight’s game against San Francisco.
Can't blame him, actually.

Though, "...right this second" is, to me, is a euphamism for "until some other NL team steps up to the plate, I am looking at you Cubbies".


Sara K said...

The Petco vs. Cellular factor had to have played large in this...dude ain't crazy. Any thoughts on what teams match up well with SD needs-wise? (I'm too lazy to look this stuff up myself!)

Jason @ IIATMS said...

Ya know, Sara, I have thought that the Cubbies would be a logical landing place, but with their ownership in flux and not the deepest farm system, I doubt that would be the landing place.

Who can both afford the hit in the pocketbook AND the farm system? Well, I think the Mets might have enough in the farm and perhaps might have enough in the pocketbook. Adding Peavy behind Johan would give them a HUGE advantage in a very strange looking NL East this year. The Phillies pitching isn't good after Hamels. But neither is the Mets after Johan. Dual aces would be tremendous. Not to mention, CitiField is playing big, unlike Yankee Stadium.

The Dodgers don't really need Peavy, but that'd be a slam dunk as LA's an hour or so north of SD.

Boston has the farm and the wallet, but I can't see it.

Atlanta? Maybe, but I doubt it after they ante'd up for Lowe.

Good question.

ditmars1929 said...

Personally, I think he's afraid of his stats going to the AL. But if he had any balls, he'd admit he doesn't want to play for that psychotic CWS manager.

Why the Mets and Phillies aren't involved (unless it's super secret), I don't know.

Jason @ IIATMS said...

ditmars, you must have been typing that comment as I was finishing mine.

I don't see him going to Philly as that park is tiny, too.

The Mets are:
1) Desperate (Omar on the hot seat)
2) Able to deal Fernando Martinez
3) Able to spend the cash

Marc said...

Blah Blah Blah. You could have stopped with #1. Not just San Diego, but 4S Ranch. The fact that Peavy lives a few blocks away from your very own brother is all the motivation he needed. Besides, I don't think they have Chili's anywhere else in the country, and the Peavy's love their Chili's.

Forget the baseball stuff. As someone who twice moved to Chicago and loved the 6 years there, it doesn't compare to my 7 1/2 years in San Diego.

And for the record, "I miss the seasons" has NEVER once been uttered from my lips. We still have seasons. For example in Dec/Jan, when it maxes out at 70, too cold for the beach and you have to wear long pants to play golf. Spring means 75-80 and summer is up to 85 with no humidity. Palm tree leaves dont fall off, so fall is marked by.... I guess nothing. Maybe 75 again. Put it this way, winter means I cant have the convertible top down except during a sunny day.

Jason @ IIATMS said...

Ladies and gentlemen: My brother, Marc. Feel free to hate him in a virtual sorta way. I do.

Alex K said...

Is it wrong as a Cubs fan to say I don't really want Peavy? He's great and all, but I don't personally think that the Cubs should give up their ONLY great prospect for him. Aramis isn't going to be around forever, and Vitters isn't more than 2-3 years away. Plus we don't know about the ownership and and how they're going to spend, so why lock up so much money on Peavy who could be completely average in Wrigley?

Bill said...

I heard a rumor that, as ditmars suggested, he just really didn't want to play for Ozzie Guillen. Apparently he called former teammate Scott Linebrink with his reservations. I think I heard about it on a broadcast of a game between unrelated teams, though, and I don't know how they would've heard about that. But it would be hard to blame him. I'd have to think that, as a pitcher, the only way I'd agree to play for Ozzie if I had a veto right would be if my only other choice were Dusty Baker.

Ron Rollins said...

If I was a ballplayer, I would love to play for a guy like Ozzie Guillen. Or play for him.

You all seem to confuse personality with the ability to win ballgames.

I guess if I lived in a touchy-feely, lets all stand in a circle and hold hands while we sing Kumbaya, type of world, I might think the same thing.

But I prefer a guy who wants to win, and isn't to admit it.

It's professional baseball, not a group therapy session.

tHeMARksMiTh said...

This is why he put the trade clause in. I don't think I'd like just being sent somewhere else by my boss when I was the "best" at something where I was, especially if I have a clause in my contract that allows me to nix it. I do this so I go to the teams I want, not who my team wants. He gave up free-agency to stay in San Diego, so this is his way of choosing.

Now why not Chicago or the AL? I think he does like San Diego and Petco Park. I'm not convinced he doesn't want to pitch in the AL, but moving to the AL obviously makes it harder on him and he has to learn new hitters. Scared? I doubt it. You don't get to the MLB and through all these successful seasons by being scared.

Again, this is why he had the clause put in. He wants to go where he wants to go, and frankly, that's his right. I don't blame him.

Bill said...

Ron, I'd suggest that you're confusing "the ability to win ballgames" with "a history of sometimes managing teams that have won ballgames." I don't want a guy who "wants to win, and isn't [afraid?] to admit it" nearly so much as I want a guy capable of making the decisions that give the team the best chance to win. Ozzie's managing is consistently horrific. When they have won ballgames, they've done it by outslugging and outpitching teams and have done it despite Ozzie's little strategic gems, not because of them.

And when we don't win, I'd rather not have a guy who's going to go batsh*t crazy on me with no rhyme or reason...but that's a secondary concern.

Ron Rollins said...


Fair point, but I'll take Ozzie and WS wins and his crazy act over Hillman and his piece and love and joy act and his inability to manage a ballgame anyday.

Steve said...

Could be a case of big fish, little pond. Maybe he likes the fact that on his team and maybe his division, he's the best guy around.
Also there are a few pitchers parks in the AL. Oakland come to mind with center field being about 13 miles away from the dish(or somewhere thereabouts).

Louise said...

The White Sox should be competitive enough to keep pace with the others. I really like the White Sox ; they’ve always been my favourite teams in MLB.Just read about them here:

The "WHTNEP" San Diego Sports Fan Collective said...

BTW--Jake ain't skered of the AL. He's smart.

* Why go to a team that plays second fiddle to another baseball team? He already plays second fiddle to the CHargers here.
* Why not wait it out until July when a contending team wants him? The White Sox are Shite now...and shite come July.
* Who can blame him if he prefers the NL brand of is better.
* The argument by most that Jake wouldn't want to go to Comiskey park (sorry I don't believe in corporate branding) because his ERA would swell are conveniently forgetting something.....In Chicago an AL style offense would ACTUALLY SCORE RUNS FOR HIM. He gets nothing right now because of our park and personnel. He'd welcome that aspect of the move.
* Of course San Diego's weather is nice "and who would want to leave it?" , but it's more about the fact that the Padres finally committed to him long term and Jake moved his whole family out here from Alabama and in less than a year the team wants to trade him.....I wouldn't want to leave my family and would definitely consider holding out for the best possible scenario.

Just one San Diegan's opinion